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  • Generator Storage

    Assuming we will not have any more heavy weather in the near future, the question of how to properly store our generators is on my mind. I have read a lot on this subject, and I have seen a lot of contradictory advice. First, my units are gasoline powered. A common suggestion is to run the engine out of gas and to drain the tank and fuel lines. Corrosion in the needle and seat of the carb can still happen. If I used an ethanol blend gas, the ethanol can attract water which will rust and/or corrode fuel system parts. If I used non-ethanol fuel, that would have taken care of that, but hindsight is 20/20. Some say to keep fuel in the tank with stabilizer. I don't do that because I store my units in my basement. I visited a carb manufacturer several years ago. They flow-test all carbs with mineral spirits before shipping, as m.s is safer to use indoors and it ships better. Does mineral spirits break down like other petroleum products? Typically, I am the one to answer such questions, but not this time. By the way, I use Pri-G stabilizer purchased from our sponsor. 1-yr old fuel rotated to my newish whiz-bang truck works flawlessly. For those of you that like sea foam...I have seen a BIG problem with not-so-long-term storage. Long story there if anyone wants to hear it. Any advice is appreciated.

  • #2
    great post.
    troybuilt? generator. with low usage. always cranked and ran as needed.
    but, left it in the barn, unused for ?3-5 years. went to use it and no crankee.
    i'm no mechanic, but I tried. got inside the carb a little then found a screw? with an oddball head.
    not Philips nor straight. something else? ... and if I had the tool it was hidden!

    so that meant a trip to favorite mechanic nearby and he offered to let me borrow one..
    instead, I went back to get gen and paid mechanic 60 to get it going...
    I was loaning it to a friend who was without power and the need was immediate...

    bottom line, if I had put it to bed properly, no problem!

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    • #3
      I had a family member with car trouble a couple of years ago and went to help. Short story, ignition switch, not the key part, the electrical part was bad. Lowered the steering column to find that it was attached with tamper-proof torx bolts...the only tool that I didn't bring. Off to the parts store to get the switch and a socket. Instead, I purchased a magnetic bit kit for $9.00, picture attached. It even has Robertson bits that the camper uses. What it doesn't have is the drive that you saw, which is a clutch-head. It looks like an hour glass and was used on old Holly carbs. Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_0804.jpg
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ID:	108079 I highly recommend all have one if only for the torx bits. Cheap insurance.

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      • #4
        I've used Seafoam just in things I was about to run. Tell us, is it junk?
        www.homesteadingandsurvival.com

        www.survivalreportpodcast.com

        "Don't be too proud of this technological terror you've constructed..."

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        • #5
          Junk, I wouldn't say that. I worked for a place with a large fleet. Some vehicles sat unused for a while. As we were ending our fiscal year, we ordered fuel for all vehicles and I wanted to add fuel stabilizer to those vehicles that I knew would sit unused for a couple of months. Following a "request" from my boss to delegate things to a subordinate that I was "underutilizing." I asked this person to order sta-bil from x auto parts because of price. Simple task. I received sea foam from another store for more money. Now you understand why I didn't use this person for more than a seat saver. Result: 6 bad fuel pumps at $300+. I summized that sea foam cleaned out the varnish from the tank and suspended the varnish in the fuel which clogged the pumps. It did its job, cleaned the junk from the fuel system. Six tanks were sent to radiator shop to be cleaned properly. Budget took a big hit early in the new year. Cleaner, yes. Fuel stabilizer, no. Co-worker was later promoted and out of my hair.

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          • #6
            Ok, time to chime it. The best way to store a generator (or anything with an internal combustion engine) is to use it, not hide it away. The worst thing for an engine (tractor/car, you name it) is to sit idle. If you store it inside then, yes, drain or run the fuel out. BUT, about every 3-6 months, put a little fuel (enough to run it for 15-30 minutes) and run it, coating the internal engine parts with oil and long enough to evaporate any moisture that got into the oil. The larger the engine, the longer this will take.

            Yes, this takes discipline. I have 8 items with motors (most gas, one diesel) and run them at least every six months or so. And I also use PRI-G.

            My $.02
            "Common sense might be common but it is by no means wide spread." Mark Twain

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            • #7
              i'm trying to resist...
              let's see I've got x things that run on gasoline, and y things that run on diesel.
              ok. guys the challenge is on...
              can you top that..

              sorry jimmy,
              folks I met the md one time.. from personally meeting him and his posting, yall know he's a good guy...

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              • #8
                Originally posted by rockriver View Post
                i'm trying to resist...
                let's see I've got x things that run on gasoline, and y things that run on diesel.
                ok. guys the challenge is on...
                can you top that..

                sorry jimmy,
                folks I met the md one time.. from personally meeting him and his posting, yall know he's a good guy...
                Just to add to the challenge, how often are they used and, if infrequently, how do you keep them from rusting out/gunking up? (Products/procedures if you please :-)

                And, rr, this is fun times...no need to be sorry.
                Last edited by jimmycthemd; 09-19-2017, 09:06 AM.
                "Common sense might be common but it is by no means wide spread." Mark Twain

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                • #9
                  lol.
                  the bride likes to cut a portion of yard right at the house. she has a rear wheel drive that ain't been doin' too good.
                  and I keep forgetting to see about it..
                  so today, she went to the barn and got one we bought used with the house (5 years ago) added gas and cut. I remember using this mower about 3 years ago around the barn... gas she used was pri g treated... and the gas I would have used 3 years ago was pri-g.
                  we have a little boat with a gasoline engine.. somewhere on here I posted that we let it sit for 2-3 years and it cranked on gas in tank.
                  (treated with pri-g) boat has now sat again for 2 years. challenges have come our way this summer and no lake trips.. I hope it will crank just as easily next time.

                  oh yeah. all gas mentioned above has no ethanol!

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                  • #10
                    Thanks jimmcthemd, good advice. I do this with cars/trucks, but I neglect my other motorized devices. I will have to force myself to take on discipline, and yes, work (that dirty four-letter word). I suppose a good memory keeper will be to fire them up at the change of the seasons, March, June, September, December. If I miss one, I am ok.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Bill Foster View Post
                      Thanks jimmcthemd, good advice. I do this with cars/trucks, but I neglect my other motorized devices. I will have to force myself to take on discipline, and yes, work (that dirty four-letter word). I suppose a good memory keeper will be to fire them up at the change of the seasons, March, June, September, December. If I miss one, I am ok.
                      Bill,

                      Learned from the school of hard knocks. Too many carb rebuilds and fuel system clean-outs to list here. The old ounce of prevention thing. The older I get, the more I try to avoid unnecessary work ;)
                      "Common sense might be common but it is by no means wide spread." Mark Twain

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by rockriver View Post
                        lol.
                        the bride likes to cut a portion of yard right at the house. she has a rear wheel drive that ain't been doin' too good.
                        and I keep forgetting to see about it..
                        so today, she went to the barn and got one we bought used with the house (5 years ago) added gas and cut. I remember using this mower about 3 years ago around the barn... gas she used was pri g treated... and the gas I would have used 3 years ago was pri-g.
                        we have a little boat with a gasoline engine.. somewhere on here I posted that we let it sit for 2-3 years and it cranked on gas in tank.
                        (treated with pri-g) boat has now sat again for 2 years. challenges have come our way this summer and no lake trips.. I hope it will crank just as easily next time.

                        oh yeah. all gas mentioned above has no ethanol!
                        rr,

                        To keep from letting the boat motor sit and decay, wallyworld sells an Attwood Universal Dual Motor Flusher, about $13. The suction cup things slide over the water intake and you hook it up to a garden hose, turn on the water and start the engine. Pumps enough water through to keep it cool around idle/fast idle. I've used them and they work pretty well.
                        Last edited by jimmycthemd; 09-24-2017, 06:18 PM. Reason: more info
                        "Common sense might be common but it is by no means wide spread." Mark Twain

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                        • #13
                          LOL!
                          hmm.
                          md,
                          what kinda flote bote have you got?
                          I think we need to get up a s and p river trip!
                          hooch? or flint? apalach? you noticed that I picked water that might be closer to me!

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by rockriver View Post
                            LOL!
                            hmm.
                            md,
                            what kinda flote bote have you got?
                            I think we need to get up a s and p river trip!
                            hooch? or flint? apalach? you noticed that I picked water that might be closer to me!
                            I've got a Sea Ray (17.5 ft) (1996). Hasn't been in the water for a while and needs some work (out drive seals, etc.). But a river trip sounds like fun. Maybe some incentive to get back to work on it. Like you, had some distractions the last few years. It was in need of maintenance when I pulled it out of the water and never got back into it.

                            Total cost estimate, somewhere around $500 for parts.
                            Last edited by jimmycthemd; 09-26-2017, 10:29 AM.
                            "Common sense might be common but it is by no means wide spread." Mark Twain

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                            • #15
                              fogging oil sprayed into the intake just before shutdown... NAPA sells it...this, in addition to changing oil and draining fuel
                              Salutations,
                              Templar

                              __________________________________________________ __________________________________________________ _________________

                              There are very good reasons why we all are gathered here...

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